Danielle Sawyer

I grew up in rural Virginia with my parents and a younger brother. When I was a kid, I attended a handful of church services and Sunday School with my family, but I could not even tell you the church we attended. All I remember was every Christmas we would go to the Christmas service and then on the way home, on the back winding roads, we would look for Santa in the sky. I did not really know anything about God, or Jesus, just that Jesus saved us from our sins and that God was to be respected. That all changed.
It was June; I was twelve years old and getting ready to go to horse camp. My mom and brother were going to visit my grandmother in Montauk, New York. My father was going to take me to camp. When I came home from the barn, something did not feel right. I had a gut feeling that something terrible was going to happen. I begged my mom not to leave, and when she asked why, I could not explain it. She left. It took years for me to forgive her for leaving me that night.

Then cop cars surrounded our car. They pulled my dad from the car. I heard screams, “There’s a kid in the back, there’s a kid in the back!” An officer opened my door and asked who I was.

I grabbed a shower, and my dad came in, told me to hurry up because we were going to meet someone. I finished my shower, got dressed, and got in the car. While driving, my dad told me we were going to pick up someone he had been talking to on the internet, and she was going to come home with us. We pulled up to a gas station in Charlottesville, and there was a girl waiting with a backpack. My dad told me to move to the backseat. As I was climbing back, cop cars surrounded our car. They pulled my dad from the car. I heard screams, “There’s a kid in the back, there’s a kid in the back!” An officer opened my door and asked who I was. I asked them what they were doing with my dad, and he told me my dad was going to be okay, but they had some questions for him and for me.
They asked where my mom was. I told them, and then I was driven to the police station. They put me in a conference room that had a TV. I watched Animal Planet (The Crocodile Hunter; thank God for those marathons because I was there for hours). They gave me grape soda and Doritos from the vending machine. That was my dinner for the evening. I have not touched grape soda since. I was finally taken to an interview room, asked a million questions, and pointed to pictures. Finally, around 11pm I was told my father had been sexually abusing me from the time I was eight until I was twelve. They asked me why I never told anyone. I told them I did not know this was wrong. What do you do when it is your dad?
My life was completely flipped upside down. I was picked up by my next door neighbors and taken to their house for the night. All I wanted was to see my mom and my dogs. I barely slept that night. I was brought to the local station the next morning. I was asked a million questions again. My mom made it safely back from New York. She has no idea this behavior had been going on. No one did. Again, what do you do when it is your dad?

I was supposed to leave for horse camp the next day. I went to the barn and did a drill team practice. My friends did not ask me any questions. We just rode, and then they let me cry on their shoulders. I had to decide if I still wanted to go to horse camp. Something told me it would be good to get away for a few days and just be with my pony. So, I went. My mom called every day. It was the best decision I made.

We did not watch the news for several months. People brought news clippings to school of “current events” about my dad. My mom was now in charge of both kids, working full time, and figuring out how to handle our finances and lives with this news. Finally, she had to make the hard decision: we needed to move. So, at age thirteen, seventh grade, I moved from Virginia to Delaware. I, of course, hated it because I wanted to stay with my friends and my horses, but we needed to get out of Virginia. We needed to move away from this trauma. The Lord led us to the best place for my family.

My mom wanted me to join a church and go to youth group. I told her flat out that I was not going to youth group. Well, of course, God has a plan, and that plan came in the form of a little black kitten at the farm where we got our eggs.

One of the things my mom was big on when we moved here was going back to church. I was not at all enthusiastic about this. I was a teenager, recently uprooted from my friends, and now my mom wanted me to join a church and go to youth group. I told her flat out that I was not going to youth group. Well, of course, God has a plan, and that plan came in the form of a little black kitten at the farm where we got our eggs. My dad was allergic to cats so we couldn’t have one. Well, I saw Spooky, and fell completely in love with her. “Oh Mommy, I will do ANYTHING for this kitty, can we PLEASE have the kitty!?” I think you know where this is going…yes…I joined youth group. I made amazing friends, and even better, I learned a lot about myself, and Jesus.

I am a firm believer that our Lord has a plan for each and every one of us. Early in my law career, I had recently graduated from a paralegal program, but was having a hard time getting a legal position. Finally, I landed an interview with my current boss. He offered me the job, but it would have been a pay cut; so, I took the weekend to think about it. On Sunday morning, I turned on the TV and saw a church service. Usually I would change the channel, but something told me to watch. The preacher was delivering his sermon about signs. God’s plan. That you will regret every chance you do not take because it is God’s plan, it is God’s will. That was all I needed. I left my job, took the leap, and I am now an attorney.

Now I have an incredible husband. We met because I did not go on vacation with my best friend (we had gotten into quite a fight). I had been talking with Ivan for over a month, but our schedules were not meshing well. We met that weekend, and have been together ever since. We are happily married with two precious, albeit sometimes too much to handle, Boston Terriers.

Although many things have not been perfect in my life, far from it, everything has happened because it was supposed to happen this way. This is God’s plan. God has blessed me in so many ways. It is my turn to acknowledge these gifts and blessings and send prayers and love to others. I am happy and honored to be part of the Why I Love Jesus ministry.

It was normal around the people I ran with in my neighborhood. It was accepted. Matter of fact, it was worshipped. You know, hurt people hurt people.

I didn't see the consequences of my actions spiritually or in my environment until years later. As a result, I’ve been through many Cognitive Behavior Therapy programs in the State of Delaware. I've been in juvenile justice. I've been in Gander Hill prison. I've been in the CREST Program for convicted drug abusers.

By this time I was I was no longer selling drugs. I had been consuming prescription opioids for a long time, buying them on the street, and then going to the methadone clinic. I did methadone for about three years and Suboxone and Xanax. Always took other drugs with it. So I weighed about 145 pounds and woke up one day in Christiana Hospital.

My brother, Jeremy, by then had had a long stint in Narcotics Anonymous and ironically showed me the road to recovery. He was sitting at the end of my bed. I had such an overwhelming feeling of shame that I couldn't even look him in the eye when he was talking to me. He said, “The doctor was in here. You died twice. They brought you back to life.” I had seizures from benzodiazepine withdrawal.

Waking up in the hospital was not strange to me. It wasn't odd, it was normal. I lost my girlfriend, Ashley, and my dad in active addiction. I woke up next to people who were dead next to me. My mom's best friend's daughter, who I was dating, died. It felt like God reached down and grabbed for me, but missed. I was ready to go, you know, but He had other plans for me.

As soon as I got out of the hospital I got high again. My parole officer, Officer Denunzio, an Angel dressed in the probation and parole uniform, arrested me and he took me to Gander Hill prison. I’d been there many times. Back then the prisons didn't put you on medication or treat your drug problems with another drug. You went to the infirmary and you withdrew there.

I came out of the cell and a guy I knew from the street who was noticeably high shouted, “Hey, Zach Bibb.” Right then I did something different. I made a decision to turn my life around. By the grace of God I survived. It took every bit of it to get me to surrender when I was 29 years and 10 months old.

More Faith Stories

There are people who sometimes have a stomachache and think it's cancer, they think it is a terminal illness. Sometimes people think there is no solution, but it is only a stomach discomfort. It's something bad that you ate that upset your stomach. It is that people that are losing their faith. They get concerned about so many things. They wake up and see the car with a flat tire, and it is a bad day.

There are more important things we need to learn. We need to seek the Lord, because time is short, time goes by quickly. I've got three children: my first daughter is 25 years old. My son is 21 and my other daughter is 16. I mean, time goes by fast.

This means this is an opportunity for you to devote your heart to Jesus Christ, so that He can save you, so that He can be your guide, so that He can be your path, so that He can be everything in your life. Listen to this message, share it with your family. If you do not have a family do not think you are alone. God is with you wherever you are. God will be with you come what may.

Now, what happened with COVID two years ago was unbelievable. God put us to the test. Many people died, and that's something that's coming ahead. There will be more illnesses, there will be more regulations. But if we keep our faith in God, if we continue to trust in God, He will give us the peace we need, the peace the world needs.

Sometimes in the community, there are a lot of people who are watching their backs. For their own protection they hire bodyguards that watch over them night and day because they feel insecure. But we have God to protect us. Day after day, God protects us. God takes care of us. God gives us strength.

I strongly encourage you, I dare you to seek the Lord. This Why I Love Jesus ministry goes across the globe spreading the word of God, telling the world Jesus Christ is real, He is not dead.

There have been many stories in this world which were looking forward to changing history, but we have this story of faith that we believe, come what may, the Lord will be with us.

So if you have relatives, share this experience with them: brothers, sisters, parents. If your family has never been in contact with Jesus, now is the time for you to tell them to embrace Him, to embrace God. Tell them about the story in the Bible that says there is a man in hell, being burned there, and he would like to have a chance of getting out of there. But unfortunately, he has already lost the opportunity. In other words, there is no way he could leave hell.

And you who are there watching this testimony, this word of the Lord, this is the opportunity that you get. Maybe we don't wake up tomorrow; we don't know what will happen tomorrow.

This is the moment for you to say, "Lord, forgive me. I have failed a lot; I've failed in several things, but I want You to be my Savior, I want You to be my shield, I want You to be my strength, I want You to be everything in my life."

Make your decision. Sometimes in day-to-day life, we make decisions, many of them, but this is the most important decision you should make in your life. That is to devote your life to Jesus Christ, commend your life to Jesus Christ, so that He can be everything in your life. May He be your peace, your strength.

At times, people have enough money in the bank and think with that they will change the world, think that will be their protection. But money is only an ordinary piece of paper. In the end, the paper will run out, the money will run out, but treasures we did will remain when we're in heaven.

So let's make this an invitation. Let's hope this message will reach someone in need of it. So you who are out there, this message is meant for you.

My stepfather was an alcoholic, and we had a difficult life. But God changed us. When I began going to this church in 2000, God changed me. God changes you, and God wants to do great things with your life.

So, I mean, maybe you are also having a hard time with an alcoholic father, an alcoholic mother. Let me tell you, I had bad thoughts in my head about finishing him, killing him, destroying him, so that it all would end. But when I got to the feet of Jesus, when I started going to church, God made changes in me. God makes changes in you. God changes your mind.

When God entered into my life, and I looked at my stepfather again, I saw him in a different way. I held a grudge inside my heart, but nevertheless, God was working on me. God worked on me and gave me peace. I was smart enough not to commit a crime. God showed me the way I should live.

In addition to being at peace with God, He gives you intelligence. God gives you wisdom to be on the side of right every day in our lives.

So, this is an invitation, whether you're a woman, or man, or youth. Young people sometimes make decisions which scar their lives forever. To put it another way, if you are young, make your decision to accept Jesus: don't wait until tomorrow and say, "No, I'd better wait before accepting Jesus Christ, before accepting God in my heart. I've still got a long way to go. I want to live my life, and I want to do things. When I'm older, I'll see whether I change." But we don't know what happens tomorrow, so you should make up your mind today.

I've had some friends who made their decisions too late. I had a friend who said he was going to drink his life away. He was going to drink, that's what he was going to do. He was going to do drugs, to live a totally careless life. He thought he was being cleverer than God. But he wasn't, nobody is smarter than God. At the end of his life he was going to seek God's forgiveness.

Had God been given the opportunity, He would have forgiven him, He would have indeed. But my friend didn't take the trouble to get to that point. He was doing his drugs, drinking and whatnot. Then he grabbed a gun and shot himself in the head.

I mean, we don't know what was the last moment in his life, whether he asked forgiveness or not. We only had the word he killed himself by putting a bullet in his head. Odds are he didn't have the opportunity of begging God's forgiveness, and he lost his life. Or better expressed, do not let the enemy fool you. The enemy hampers your life.

That means to move on and accept Jesus Christ. He is going to give the answers. He is going to give you the peace you need. That's my testimony, and I know this is on behalf of God, so people would turn to Him.

People get lost, people haven't wanted to recognize their faults. God has a plan for your life. That means if He gave you this plan, accept it, accept it. We have free will, people make their own decisions. God has already chosen some individuals. God has predestined people. Whether you are predestined or exercising your free will, make your decision and follow Jesus Christ.

Your life will change, He is going to transform it, and He is going to help you in every way, be it economic, social, psychological, whatever you need, God is going to help you.

Thank you for your time, thank you for this opportunity that God gave me to share my faith. I come from Houston, Texas, but I've been working here in Delaware, and this is an opportunity God has granted me to share good news and continue to spread good news. We're the ambassadors of the word of God. So thank you for this opportunity, and let's move forward with this testimony which is for the benefit of society.

Bill McQuiston

Bill McQuiston

In May of 1982 Carolyn and I went on a Lutheran Marriage Encounter Weekend. Here was where God opened my eyes and heart to his role in my marriage and life. That weekend changed my relationship with Christ.

Barb Lambert

Barb Lambert

I wasn’t raised in a church; so I knew nothing about Jesus or God. I did go to Vacation Bible School in the summers and heard and loved the song, “This Little Light of Mine.”